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Wednesday, Emily's POV

I headed down the hall towards the writer’s club room at lunch, full and ready to meet the other people in my group, and get to know Chester. But when I entered the classroom, the only one there was Chester. I was suddenly overcome with shyness.

“Welcome! You’re the first one here,” he greeted me.

“I see that,” I responded, sitting in the front row desk. “I thought the other people would be here. Who’s in the group, by the way?” Chester moved from his perch on top of a table to check a small clipboard. I couldn’t help but notice the way he moved-smoothly, so much so it was almost elegant. I opened up my notebook and started scribbling.

“We have Leslie Grumman, Arthur Phillip, Faye Martin, Eliza Steppenkoff, William Brewer, and Bianca Malone.” Upon hearing that name, my head shot up.

“Bianca writes?” I asked, shocked. Chester nodded. The door to the room creaked open, and in filed Eliza, Leslie, and Bianca. I took a deep breath, readying myself for whatever scathing comment Bianca would try to throw at me. She scoffed when she saw me.

“Hey there Emily, are you writing love letters to Alfie again? Tsk, tsk, they’ll be useless anyway.”

           “Obviously I had what you didn’t; a personality. Maybe you can buy it with you daddy’s money-oh wait, didn’t your last purchase bounce?” I resisted the urge to snap my fingers as she turned away with a frustrated flourish. I resumed writing with a smirk, but was stopped by Chester’s voice.

           “Welcome, everyone, to Creative Writing Club! I’m Chester, as you know, and I’d like to start with everyone telling a little about themselves and their writing. Emily, will you start?”

           “Uh, OK,” I replied. “I’m Emily, and I write poems and sci-fi/fantasy. I have too many favorite authors to count, but most recently it’s been John Green.” I gestured to right, where a prim freshman with a brunette bob and dark chocolate eyes sat.

           “Um, I’m Eliza, she began, barely above a whisper. “I like short stories, but I really want to write a mystery novel. My favorite author has to be E.L. Konigsberg. I’m so sad she passed.” Her sincerity was evident, and I guess that’s why Bianca scoffed. I shot her a look to quiet her, but it was to no avail. Chester prompted a gruff dirty blonde boy who looked like he should be on the football team.

           “I’m William. My English teacher said I should join this club because I ‘could use some outside support’. I write whatever I feel like. My favorite author is James Fenimore Cooper.” He finished curtly, and while I’m pretty sure the rest of the group felt pretty awkward, Bianca waved flirtatiously at him. William just rolled his eyes. Next was Leslie, and redheaded junior who loved romance and Jude Deveraux. Arthur liked historical fiction and Leslie. I assume that was his way of asking her out because they were whispering to each other soon after. I turned my attention to Faye, a very interesting character. She had crystalline blue eyes and tan hair with violet streaks in it, done in the style of Skrillex, but somehow better.

           “I’ll write and read anything, but to be honest I’ve got kind of an obsession for well-written gore.” Yep, I definitely liked Faye. Bianca started in on her spiel with a disgusted look on her face.

           “You all know who I am,” She giggled fakely, “but I do like to read and write romance. My favorite author is Stephanie Meyer.” I groaned mentally and saw Faye roll her eyes.

“Well, this certainly is an eclectic group,” Chester said, breaking the awkward tension. “Does anyone have some writing they brought?” The whole room stalled. Writing was the safe haven, the secret place only the most trusted people could see. I know I didn’t trust anyone here. But Bianca seemed to be oblivious.

           “Emily’s got some great work; I’ll bet she wants to show you!”

           “Fucking great,” I muttered under my breath, and began to read. “The swan alighted on a small pond, the water as clear as cut diamond. Its pristine white wings stretched out gracefully, tired from its long trip home. Only now began the wait for its mate, the loneliest journey of his lifetime.”

           “It’s really stupid, but I just felt like writing that,” I explained. A small round of polite applause followed.

           “And thus the bitch hath glided across the mothafuckin water…And damn he looked fine,” William cracked, earning a laugh from the group.

           “Nice job, Emily. When did you write that?” asked Chester.

           “Just before everyone else came in here,” I admitted, smiling shyly. The bell rang abruptly, ending lunch.

           “OK, everyone write or bring something in for the adventure genre next week!” Chester blurted. “See ya!” I departed for Science.


Emily’s POV

I sat in the center seat, 4th row in the auditorium. Before we go to class, we had an announcement. The principal tapped the mic.

“Students, we are announcing a new program here at the school. Seniors from the other secondary schools will be offering classes in Creative Writing, Advanced Art, and Music. Every Wednesday and Friday the seniors will teach a small group, so apply quickly!” Well, this is exciting, I thought, I’m quite intrigued. A curly-haired senior with glasses stood up and took Mr. Rohring’s place.

“Hi, I’m Chester; I’m the teacher for the Creative Writing class. Basically we’ll review and discuss modern authors, and write and critique each other’s works. It’s more fun than it sounds, really.” He seems nice. The others explained their classes, but I didn’t pay attention. Mr. Rohring told us the sign-ups were outside the quad and let us go. Come brunch, I would be there.


“And the class starts next Wednesday at lunch. I’m excited!” I finished telling Alfie, looking deeply into the non-existent eyes of his sandwich.

“That’s great! Are you gonna bring your poetry book?” I hesitated.

“I-I don’t know. I don’t like to just show off my poetry like that. Even you haven’t seen the majority of my poetry.”

“I’ve seen a lot,” he replied.

“Exactly. I write a lot.” I finished my lunch and dumped it into the trash.

“Well, even if I don’t we’ll probably write some anyway.” Alfie nodded.

“Hey hey, are you Emily?” a low voice asked behind me. I turned around, startled.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Well, I’m Chester, and I wanted to get to know all my students. Mind if I sit?”

“I guess,” I gestured to the seat across from me. I’d never though he’d actually make an effort to know us. I glanced beside me and saw Alfie holding a curious frown.

“You did this with all you students? How many do you have?” I asked cautiously.

“Only 6 or 7. It’s a nice group, the lot of them. And you. I met some at brunch.” I nodded, taking in this information.

“So, what genres do you write for?” Chester asked warmly.

“Well, I do realistic fiction and sci-fi/fantasy, but I think I’m better at poetry.” Chester seemed surprised.

“A poet! You’re the only one so far. I’m glad we have a wider range of writers.” He checked his watch, a leather band that was in high contrast with his pale skin.

“If you’ll excuse me, I have 2 more students to get to.”

“Bye!” I waved. The second Chester was out of earshot, Alfie spoke up.

“I don’t like him. At all. He seems suspicious.”

“What makes you think that? Chester’s nice,” I said.

“He’s off,” he stated with- contempt? Disgust?

“Honey, all writers are off. Believe me.” I head him mutter, “Chester the Molester…” What was up with him?


Emily’s POV

One month flew by faster than a Concord jet. Soon, it was time to refresh my wardrobe and but new school supplies. I wasn’t dreading it like I usually do, though. Alfie had 3 of my classes and the same lunchtime. On the eve of the first day, Alfie called.

“Back to society tomorrow,” he greeted me.

“Indeed,” I said, “Shame.”

“What if we could be homeschooled?” Alfie wondered. I thought it would be nice, but neither of my parents would be good teachers.

“Then we would’ve never met,” I reminded him.

“Oooooooh,” He cooed, acting intrigued. I rolled my eyes.

“Just wait until you have swarms of stupid fangirls and no good excuse to fend them off with.”

“Well, at least you’re good for one thing,” Alfie retorted.

“Would that one thing be making your life joyous every day? Yes, I think that’s it.” I looked out the window.

“The moon’s pretty tonight,” I muttered, trying to change the subject.

“Mm hmm,” Alfie said uninterestedly. My mom came pounding up the stairs.

“My mom’s coming up, hold on,” I told Alfie, then put the phone down.

“Emily, it’s almost 9:30. Get off the phone.”

“’Kay, Mom, hold on.” That placated her a bit and she left. I picked the phone back up.

“Listen, Alf,-” I began.

“Alf? Really?” he interrupted.

“Yes. I’m tired, and my mom just ordered me off, as you might have heard. Can we pick this up tomorrow?” I blinked sleepily, my head in my free hand.

“Yeah. See you tomorrow. Bye.”

“Bye.” I hung up. I got my pajamas on, and did my nightly routine. Back on the bed, I flipped over and over until I found a sleep that was anything but restful.


 Emily’s POV, Day before Alfie’s birthday (roughly 1 week later)

I carried the box to the park, which got increasingly heavier the farther I got. We met in the woodsy area, and for once, it was not filled with screaming children. I put the wrapped present down and leaned on a nearby tree.

“Hey there, old fart,” I said to Alfie coolly.

“My birthday’s tomorrow, for your information. I’m not an old fart yet. Give it a couple hours.” He eyed the present and I chuckled a little.

“Why is the wrapping paper pink with princesses? Are you trying to tell me something?” I chuckled.

“It was the only birthday paper we had. It’s gonna get ripped up anyway. Deal with it, “I said playfully. Alfie sat down on the grass and I smiled. He very carefully un-taped the side and bottom and unfolded it, just to spite me. Then he ripped the rest off. He laughed when he first saw it.

“This is great,” he said, beaming. I returned the smile. I was so happy I picked the right gift.

“Oh, I loaded all the songs from your iPod onto it so you have the songs you want.” I remembered how I got a hold of it and smirked deviously.

“But how did you get it?” Alfie asked incredulously. He paused, and then made a face I just had to laugh at.

“You… You sly little devil!” He hmphed. “I can’t believe you!” Alfie’s mouth was open wide in shock, but a smile creeped on his lips.

“But seriously,” I said, “Katy Perry?” He blushed a little. I walked over and hugged him.

“Aww, it’s OK, hon,” I said, snuggling into his shoulder. “I have a soft spot for Taylor Swift.” I felt him smile.

If it’s any consolation, my favorite video is California Gurls.” I rolled my eyes. Now I sat on his lap, smiling. He kissed me, so much so that I ended up on my back on the grass, legs draped over his lap, smiling. He kissed me, so much so that I ended up on my back on the grass, legs draped over his lap. Alfie backed out from under me and was on all fours over me. My heart and mind was racing. Of course I knew the implications, the looks of it. I wondered how far I would let this go, for how long. But then again, there was a part of me that was exhilarated and didn’t care about anything but that moment. Alfie kissed me on the cheek, like a kiss goodbye. He backed off and retreated to a sitting position, eyes downcast.

“I’m sorry,” he said. I paused.

“Don’t be.”






“Birthday present, birthday present…” I said to myself as I perused the store. This was harder than I thought. I knew him, but how could I manifest that into a present? I walked into the electronics section. Most of the stuff in here was too expensive for me. A store worker approached me.

“Are you looking for anything in particular, miss?” she asked.

“Well,” I started, “I’m looking for a birthday present for my boyfriend, but I’m not sure where to start.” The worker, apparently named Sonia, smiled and nodded knowingly.

“Ok then. Well, I think we should start in the cheaper section” Sonia said. I agreed and she led me to the other side of the section. Here were some cheap Nintendo games and various accessories.

“Eh,” I said. We moved on. In the next aisle, there were bigger things, like speakers and iPods. I spotted a box. I walked over to it and saw that it was a karaoke machine. I giggled.

“Hey Sonia? I think I need your advice.” She walked over.

“What’s up?”

“I think I might get this but it might be too cheesy.” She furrowed her eyebrows, as if thinking about how she should phrase her next question.

“May I ask why it would be cheesy?” I stared at her indecisively. She couldn’t be much older than me, maybe 19 at the most. I don’t know, she looked pretty trustworthy. So I told her, about my Muse addiction and our first date. I did not tell her, however, about the link between Alfie and Muse. I kept in mind your privacy, which was good of me considering my forgetfulness.

“That’s so sweet!” she cooed. I also refrained to tell her about the kiss. Trustworthy strangers are still strangers.

“I think it’d be a great gift,” Sonia stated. I looked at the price. $40. That left $20 from the birthday money I saved. I pulled the box from the shelf and lifted it.

“Thanks Sonia. Really,” I said. I headed for the check-out.



 “Hello,” Chris greeted me, “Nice to meet you and all that.” I shook his hand, thankfully firmly, but only managed a small “Hi.” A small blonde-ish boy ran up to me.

“So you’re Alfie’s girl!” he shouted. Then he ran away.

“I can so imagine tiny you running around causing chaos,” I muttered.

“Mum says Ernie and I would have destroyed the world had we been twins.” The rest of the clan was in the room, and Alfie introduced me.

“I’m gonna see if your mom needs help,” I told Alfie, and then left for the kitchen.

“Hey Kelly,” I said as I entered the spacious kitchen. “Need any help?”

“Oh, Emily, you don’t have to come in here. I got this.” She returned to the cutting board and began cutting some carrots. I sniffed the air.

“Oh, what are you cooking? It smells great,”

“I’m making a roast,” she said, “And I’m glad you think it smells good. It’s gonna be done in a few minutes.” I wandered over to the stove, peering at the simmering gravy. Kelly wiped off her knife and threw it in the sink.

“Just wondering, why are you in here instead out in the family room with Alfie?” Kelly asked me. I shifted.

“Well, if I were to be completely honest, I’d say it’s because I’m afraid I’d go complete Muser on Chris and either make a fool of myself or make him think I’m a psycho. And in that department, I kinda am.” Kelly chuckled.

“Emily, I’ve seen girls faint at the sight of Chris. You shook his hand, which is more than those girls did. I think you’ll be fine.” I smiled at the pep-talk.

“I have no idea what to talk about,” I said.

“Just stay out of conversations you don’t know about,” Kelly said, “So probably no football.” I nodded in agreement. Kelly took a spoon and tested the gravy.

“Hm, it needs something, but I don’t know what.” She hmphed in dismay.

“Have you added some milk? My gramma does that,” I suggested.

“Oh, that’s interesting,” Kelly mused, “How much though?”

“Um half a cup I think,” I replied. “I don’t know how much it is in British, though,” I added. Kelly smiled and poured the milk, then stirred the mix. She took a sip.

“Much better. Thanks! Now, go out and talk to everybody before they think I cooked you.” I thanked Kelly and left.


“Hey there, babe,” Alfie said as I walked in the room. I sat down next to him/

“What up, sweetie?” I replied, making gestures I saw made by ‘swag’ guys at school. I chuckled and Alfie grinned, rolling his eyes.

“Not much, yo,” Alfie made ‘swag’ gestures that turned into what looked an epileptic DJ.

“This is classic!” Chris said, guffawing. I blushed immediately, forgetting he was there.

“Oh, don’t be shy. It’s all right,” Chris consoled, noticing my flush.

“No worries,” I said, “What were you talking about?”

“Nothing really, just watching the telly,” Chris stated. Alfie looked at me in thought.

“You know, she’s like a cat,” he said, “She shy with the people she doesn’t know, but once you get to know her, she’ll show her personality.” Chris looked at him oddly, and then dismissed it, muttering, ‘Ok, then…’

“Well then, I want to be a black cat with white-tipped ears and pretty green eyes.” I told Alfie. He replied softly so only I could hear.

“You already have one of those traits,”

“Aww,” I cooed and leaned into him. I took his hand. About 30 seconds later I was peeved by a question.

“Uh, Chris? Do you prefer Chris or Mr. Wolstenholme?” Alfie gave me an ‘Oh, you,’ look. I knew it was an odd time to ask an odd question, but I wanted to be perfectly clear.

“Chris is fine,” he replied/ Then Kelly came in.

“It’s on the table,” she announced, and we followed her to the table.


The table was a large square instead of a long, menacing interrogation table I dreaded. But this family was very different from mine. We all sat down, me and Alfie across from Chris and Kelly, Frankie and Ernie on my left, and Ava and Buster on my right. I assumed Teddi was taken care of. I cut a piece of meat and ate it, trying very hard to remain lady-like.

“So Emily, what do you do in your free time?” Kelly asked. I was about to answer when Alfie casually leaned in and mumbled, “Me.” I turned to him, incredulous, and told him, “No,” even though I giggled a little. I was about to address Kelly when Alfie again interrupted.

“’Cos you haven’t yet.”

“Shh, I’m trying to answer a question,” mumbled back. I turned to Kelly.

“Well, I play tennis, I draw, listening to music takes up a lot of my time, so I guess that’s a hobby, and I write. Poetry, mostly, but I have a novel or two on that’s on the furthest burner back on the stove.” Ava piped up.

“Say, written any love poems?” She held out love like what I would tell her was juicy gossip.

“Yeah, but that’s not all of what I write,” I said, happy with my diplomatic answer.

“You said you played tennis?” Chris said, “How long have you been playing?”

“Since I was about 9, so… 6 years,” I replied. Dinner went swimmingly, much to my joy. I finished my plate and requested to leave the table, thanking them for dinner. I left, and Alfie followed soon behind.

“Not what you dreaded, eh?” Alfie asked as I rinsed my plate.

“Not in the least,” I replied. Alfie and I traded dishes and he put mine away.

“You might’ve over-thought things. A little,” he said.

“Yeah, but I always do that.” I put the dish away and leaned against the sink.

“Want to go to the back garden?” Alfie asked. “I hear it’s nice.”

“Don’t go outside much, do ya?” I responded, but followed him out of the house.


“”Oh, this is so pretty,” I exclaimed as I took in the scene. Lush green grass was surrounded by flower bushes of all kinds. My favorite was the array of roses on the back wall, accompanied by ivy. It was sunset, giving everything a golden glow.

“Excuse the neighbors; they’re having yet another party.” A string of lights peeked over the wall and pop music pumped from unseen speakers. I walked to the center of the garden.

“It’s nice though. It gives a good atmosphere,” I said dreamily. I was taken with the sunset. The pop song ended and was replaced with ‘What a Wonderful World’. Alfie extended his hand to me.

“Shall we?”

“Why yes, good sir, we shall.”  So we danced, swaying to the melody and gravelly tone of Louis Armstrong. I rested my head on his shoulder, and his head leaned on mine. On the final note, Alfie slowly spun me and dipped me. I grinned. He pulled me up and kissed me softly. I smiled into the kiss. The sun was almost completely under the horizon, so I would have to go soon. We drew away.

“My God I love you,” I said, “Did you know that?”

“I gathered. The feeling’s mutual,” Alfie replied.


Kelly’s POV

“Mum!” Ava called as she ran into the living room. “We have to talk.” She waked into the kitchen, so of course I had to follow her.

“What’s up?” I asked when I got to an impatient Ava. She talked very fast, apparently excited.

“I saw Alfie and Emily kissing in the back garden! Kissing!” she spouted.

“Ava Jo!” I scolded, “They deserve some privacy. They’re… in a relationship.” Still, she continued.

“But Mum! They were kissing like you and Dad do!” I sighed.

“Ava, kissing is one of the things you do with someone you love. Hopefully one day you’ll realize that.” She muttered something under her breath, then left. But damn, now she had gotten me curious. I knew I had just told Ava not to. Ah, screw it, I thought, just this once. I crept out to the door of the back garden. I hid myself behind the wall. I peeked out. I saw them close together, gazing into each other’s eyes. Awwwww, I thought. I let them be.



 3 days later

Up in my room, I pondered what to wear. How dressy should I be? Should I wear my Muse shirt? I quickly banished the thought. That would just be wrong. I had a flash of inspiration. I dug deep into my closet, searching for a dress I had bought last year, but never wore. My closet was full of clothes like that. The dress in question was white with a violet band at the waist. It had a scoop neck, straps and a flowy bottom. I threw it on and it came to my knee. Perfect. I put on matching violet flats with crisscrossed rouching at the toe.  I raided my jewelry box and came up with 4 shiny, silver-black bangles and a diamond drop necklace.

“Done,” I said to myself and walked out my door.


“What do you think? Is this good for dinner?” I asked Alfie as he walked me out the door. He took a quick up-and-down of me.

“You’re fine. Besides, it’s not like you can or will change it if I said otherwise.”

“No, but at least I’ll be cursing myself for not dressing properly. First impressions, man.” Alfie opened the back door of the car and I slid in.

“I think I’ve talked enough about you that they already have a good impression,” he said. I smirked.

“Must be nice to have a personal chauffer who totally does not eavesdrop on you conversation,” Kelly said sarcastically.

“Hi, Mum,” Alfie said, rolling his eyes dramatically.

“Hi, Mrs. Wolstenholme,” I said.

“Oh, please,” she said, “Mrs. Wolstenholme is so dowdy. Call me Kelly.” I was always uneasy with calling adults by their first name.

“If you say so,” I replied. Soon, we reached the house.

“I can’t believe you live so close!” I exclaimed.

“I walked to your place that day in the park,” Alfie said. I could sense his vagueness.

“Oh,” I stated simply. We got out of the car and I tensed up, remembering exactly what was going on. I inhaled, trying to calm my mind and body.

“Don’t worry,” Alfie whispered as Kelly opened the door. “My father doesn’t own a gun.”

“Ha ha,” I said, and then followed Kelly through the door to my fate.



June, after Matt’s birthday, Emily’s POV

“He loved the socks. He put them on right then,” Alfie told me as we were walking down the street to my house. “What pattern were they, anyway? They were ugly as hell!” I chuckled.

“Rainbow striped with a black argyle overlay. Hot Topic has the weirdest shit over there.”

“Apparently,” Alfie replied.

“Well, I’m glad he liked them. They’re clash with everything, so I figured he’d like them.” I giggled at that. We reached my doorstep. I pecked Alfie’s cheeks.

“Ciao, darling,” I said in an overdramatic French accent.

“Wait,” he said, and I turned from the door to face him.

“I want you to have dinner with my family.” Whoa. This was a big thing for him. He always kept his family close to him, not wanting many people to know his parentage and bug him about it. He was very protective, I learned that early on. To be frank, I hadn’t really thought of that actually happening. It was pushed back in my mind.

“Oh my God. I don’t know what to say. Yay. Uh...Yeah.” My mind was mush, great. Alfie smirked.

“Tell your parents that it’s in 3 days.” He said.

“Do they go too?” I asked, hoping he’d say no. I knew how much they could embarrass me.

“They don’t have to.”

“Awesome,” I said. They’re definitely not coming.

“I’ll pick you up. Bye, babe. See you later.” I grabbed his hand before he left.

“Love you,” I said. He smiled a sweet little smile.

“Love you too,” I went into the house and raced up the stairs so fast you could miss me if you blinked. I locked my door and screamed, “Yes!” as loud as possible. I walked back down the stairs.

“Is everything all right?” Mom asked me, looking like she thought I was crazy.

“Yeah. I’m going to dinner with Alfie and his family on…Thursday.” I beamed like a little child at an amusement park.

“OK then. Have fun,” was all she said. Someone likes me today.




 Emily’s POV, June

“So, it’s Matt’s birthday in a couple of days. I feel like I should do something because the band said Happy Birthday to me. What do you think?” I asked Alfie while nibbling on an ice-cream sandwich. Sitting on the steps of my house on the surprisingly hot day was quite calming.

“I think it would certainly be unexpected. But get him socks.” Alfie replied. I giggled.

“Now, just what crazy pattern?” I, of course, knew all about his sock obsession, being a Muser.

“Something to outshine Dom’s skinny jeans.” A drop of ice cream got onto Alfie’s shirt, and I handed him a napkin.

“Don’t think that’s possible, honey.” There was a small park really close to my house, and it was quite pretty. There were only trees and grass. And the sprinklers in the park just went on.

“Hey,” Alfie said, “Didn’t that park just get like a wet slide or something?” I chuckled.

“It’s called a Slip N’ Slide. And yeah, I think so. Am I thinking what you’re thinking?” I finished the sandwich, and so did Alfie. He wiped off his mouth with his arm, and then used the napkin.

“If you’re thinking that we should go over and run through the wet slide thing, yes, you are.” I jumped off the steps.

“Let’s go!” We raced down the street, but Alfie won by a lot. I caught up and jumped on Alfie. He grabbed me from behind and took off. I beamed, even though everyone in the park was looking.

“Giddy up, horsie!” I yelled happily. I’m sure the children around us were either surprised at the teenagers acting like kids, or scarred for life. At the Slip N’ Slide, there was a very small line. I got off Alfie and took his hand. We started giggling uncontrollably.

“I had no idea you could carry that far that fast,” I say, gasping for air.

“That’s what she said,” Alfie said. Never too tired for an innuendo. The line moved quickly, and we both grabbed a boogie-board like thing and Alfie gestured for me to go ahead of him.

“Nah,” I chuckled, “I want you to show me how it’s done.” I winked. Alfie rolled his eyes, and then ran down the runway to the slide. When he jumped the board and slid down the slide, he shouted, “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAAAAIIID!!”  Mother all around the area looked to Alfie in disgust. One even replied, “This is a children’s’ park! How could you say that?” Alfie shrugged, and I said “Overreact much?” I braced myself for the ride, and then also sped down the runway. I slid down, getting soaked though my clothes. I got up happily and followed Alfie to the wooded area of the park.

“That was hot,” he said in a Paris Hilton-esque voice. I laughed at the British valley girl.

“Really? I thought it was quite cool. The water was nice and cold. So am I, now.”

Alfie gazed at me, smirk plastering his face. “You know what would heat us both up?” He pulled me behind a tree surrounded by bushes. He kissed me fiercely. I knew what he was up to. Alfie broke the kiss and whispered in my ear.

“Biology,” he murmured. I mimicked him and leaned in close to his ear.

“You know what would heat us both up?” I said, keeping myself from giggling. “The Sun.” I kissed his cheek.

“Oh, you,” he said. “You mastered the art of comebacks. And I love you for it.” I hugged him and still held on as we walked.

“You, my dear Alfie, have indeed mastered more, I’m afraid.” I could tell he knew what I meant, but still he said, “Oh? What exactly have I mastered?” I stood on my toes and put my cheek to his.

“Me,” I said.



Summer, Emily’s POV

“I need a beach. Soon.” I told my Mom as she sat on the couch with a bowl of cereal.

“Well, your father’s off today, so maybe you can convince him to take you. But where is the beach near London?” An idea popped in my head, and I smirked.

“There’s always Teignmouth,” I mentioned slyly. Mom squinted at me.

“That’s a Musey thing, isn’t it?” I look at her sarcastically.

“Mom. You should know this by now. Really. Everything is a Muse reference. Everything. And it’s just where the boys all moved and where they actually started the band.” I said, and Mom threw up her hands.

“Fine, whatever. Get your father ready and we’ll go.” I squee-d and ran up the stairs to get ready. I picked out a pair of dark denim shorts and a hot pink tank top. I looped my light blue leopard print shawl into the belt loops and got my sandals on. I went into the master bedroom and shook Dad up to tell him what we were doing today. I was answered with unintelligible grumbles, and an “OK, let me get up…”


3 hours later

“We’re HE-EEEERRREEEE!!!” I cried as we got out of the truck. I looked around the sleepy town. “Land of old people and Muse’s origin!” I mumbled ‘of Symmetry’ to myself. I skipped out down the street, towards the sound seagulls and waves.

“Wait!” my mother called and I had to stop. My parents caught up to me and I continued to the sandy dunes. Once there, I raced down to the beach bathroom to change into my bikini. I threw my clothes to my mom and jumped in the water. The cold ocean felt so good against the surprisingly humid day. I stroked a couple of feet farther in, and then swam back so Mom and Dad didn’t get over-worried. I was thigh-deep in water, while my dad was calf-deep. I took the opportunity to scoop some water up and throw it at him.

“Hey!” he said when the water hit him. He sloshed over and picked me up, much to my surprise. He was too old for this shit. Then he dunked me in the water. I glugged and gasped for air on surfacing.

“Ha ha,” he responded.


1 hour later

We walked into the Manson guitar shop only a little damp. The place was so clean I thought walking into it in this state would contaminate it. I had somehow convinced my parents to go in. Amazing. Then something caught my eye. I realized what it was and ran over, almost slamming into the glass containing it.

“Oh my God…” I muttered. Inside the container was the M1d1 Mirror Manson. The Cracked Mirror Manson. My favorite guitar of ever. I gazed at it, in wonder that I would actually be this close to one of Matt’s guitars. Just staring at it, my mom wandered over and asked what it was. I could only manage a “Matt’s Manson…” and she had heard enough. Soon after, we left Teignmouth for home.

“Good day?” My father asked me.

“Yeah,” I responded. Little did he know.